Tackling Seasonal Affective Disorder During a Pandemic

With the weather turning colder and the COVID-19 pandemic, the stress you are feeling is very real. COVID-19 has taken a toll on our mental health, no matter who we are. Now add the weather turning colder and the days going darker, and it may feel that you are starting to lose control of your mind.

Something provoking the sadness we feel as the winter months approach, pandemic or not, is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. This is a type of depression brought on by the darker days and colder weather as our bodies don’t get enough sunlight to brighten our mood. Seasonal Depression can lead to a lack of energy, and motivation, or feeling sluggish.

Here are some ways to work through these feelings:

Eat Better

You have to continue eating well. Certain foods link to how we feel, this is because of the following neurotransmitters in the brain:
• Serotonin: A chemical that is released after eating carbohydrates (such as starches and sugars) and which enhances calmness, improves mood and lessens depression. High levels of serotonin control appetite and satisfy cravings.
• Dopamine and norepinephrine: Chemicals that are released after eating protein (such as meat, poultry, dairy, and legumes) that enhance mental concentration and alertness.

Get Better Sleep

We need to sleep, and not just lay around on the couch all day. Poor sleep quality is a significant factor in depression, maintaining a daily routine can do much to improve poor sleep or maintain good quality sleep.

Staying Connected to Yourself and Others

It’s important to talk to somebody or do things like get regular exercise.

Through all mental health issues, recognizing your feelings and sharing them when the time is right can change your life. If you need help with SAD, or any other mental health issues, contact Laurian Ward.